At Synapse, we pride ourselves on building every website according to best practices. One of these best practices includes the utilization of development libraries, a pre-written foundation of code that a web developer or designer can build from. A good library has many advantages, including frequent updates and improvements, good documentation and strong structure. It can also be easily updated without affecting site functionality.
A good library is important to an Interactive Team like ours. With several members involved with each site, it improves efficiency. We don’t have to scramble to figure out how a site works or delve into back-end code to see how things are setup. Anyone of us can jump right in and get started.
Frequent updates are important for security concerns as well as keeping up-to-date with the newest ways of accomplishing tasks. Using a well-designed library can make updating seamless. It also helps ensure that applications are secure.
Another advantage of using a library is documentation. Libraries such as jQuery have excellent, up-to-date documentation. Good documentation makes coding much faster as the developer can read how new features are supposed to work in plain English without having to dig into the heart of the code to see how to properly use them.
A huge benefit of using a library is that it’s kept up-to-date by 3rd parties. This allows our developers more time to work on the core features of a project instead of worrying about how to setup database access or the ins and outs of creating interactive elements in the browser.
Another bonus is that often contributors to these libraries are top developers from some of the biggest companies in the tech industry. For example, developers from Twitter, Google and Netflix regularly contribute to the jQuery library. It’s like having developers from those companies working for you (for free). The use of popular libraries by large companies also aids with bug testing. When a site the size of Twitter pushes out a new jQuery library it’s immediately subjected to real world tests by tens of millions of users.
In the end, there always needs to be custom code, every website or business application has different needs. But for functions that are used across projects it’s always best to stick with a well-maintained library for your development as much as you can. Just another thing to consider when selecting a company to build your website. Everyone can say they use best practices, but as the consumer, it’s good to know what exactly that means.